I dislike Valentine’s Day. I don’t dislike February 14th, that’s my late grandmother’s birthday. I just don’t like the pink-and-red propaganda machine known as Valentine’s Day. If you have not guessed it by now, yes I am single. I don’t think my tone would change if I had someone in my life. I would remember what it’s like to feel miserable on a day celebrating all the soppy views of love. Like now.
I wrote about signing up for internet dating, and even signed up for a singles group. I joined a local group, paid my fee, and did their introductory seminars. Part of the exercise was to have someone introduce you in front of the entire group. The woman I introduced was older, had a horrendous marriage, and happily liked the life of a widow compared to lief with her late, non-lamented husband. Luckily I had enough to make an introduction leaving out the bad marriage bits.
When she introduced me I heard a phrase never thought heard uttered anywhere except sitcoms. She mentioned I worked as a Library Technician. (True) The intro ended with the following words:
She has a nice personality.
Kill.Me.Now. I thought. I put on a brave face, sat down, and knew this doomed the venture before it even started. The phrase basically means ‘not much to look at.’ It didn’t matter how many new outfits, or the swagger in my step, nice personality basically doomed me to either nothing or desperate men with no intellect and nothing in common. After attending a few dances put on by this single group, I let the membership lapse.
The online things basically got worse. I got e-mails from guys who couldn’t write. I wrote witty e-mails to intelligent guys and got nothing back. People say if you learn to love yourself and stabilize your life, the right one will come along. I call “Bullshit!” I wrote about this a while ago and felt like I held back that time.
I had attended a number of weddings over my lifetime. Want to know how many are still intact? Barely any. I knew a bride who walked down the aisle despire confessing her love for someone else, and it wasn’t the groom. I got love advice from this person making the disillusionment much more acute.
Disillusioned. That’s a better word than ‘bitter’. It makes me a little cautious about weddings with all it’s ritual and pageantry. I knew one woman proclaiming St. Jude’s intercession brought her a husband. I knew she just went from one infatuation to another until one stuck around. Her pronouncement is true according to her perception, agreed by people in her circle with the same belief. While I hear about the power of prayer to bring about true love. I made a deal with God not to make such an outlandish request.
Why do that? I prefer spending evenings at home, or with friends. When Valentine’s Day rolls around, I remind myself it’s my grandmother’s birthday and usually it means a gift and a card. It also reminds me how much I love and miss her despite the years since her passing. I trust that better than candy and roses. I cross my fingers every time I hear about another engagement, hoping another spectacle will not end in divorce. I simply clench my jaw, wait for the day to pass, and move on.